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Improving School Outcomes through Information Campaigns
Initial registration date
November 07, 2019
November 08, 2019 10:12 AM EST
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IDEICE & PUCMM
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Universidad de los Andes
Additional Trial Information
We study whether providing information to school principals on previous exam performance of their school and asking them to coordinate with the school’s leadership team in the design and implementation of teacher and parental workshops can improve the school's performance and parental involvement in subsequent examinations. A subset of private and public school principals in the Dominican Republic that had previously administered national exams receive feedback on the school's previous performance and are asked to coordinate with the leadership team, their teachers, and parent organizations to elaborate a plan to improve test scores. Although all schools in our sample receive information about the campaign, we randomly vary both the intensity and content of a reminder campaign for school principals to test whether selective information diffusion improves school performance.
Morales, Daniel, Catherine Rodriguez and Carlos Schmidt-Padilla. 2019. "Improving School Outcomes through Information Campaigns." AEA RCT Registry. November 08.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our primary outcome measure is schools' performance in the national third and sixth grade exams (Evaluaciones Diagnósticas de 3ero and 6to, to be administered in 2020 and 2021, respectively).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary outcomes in our study include: (i) principal's interaction with the informational material (e.g., number of times principal clicks on campaign email, number of times reports are downloaded, etc.), (ii) their adherence to the campaign's requisites (e.g., sending proof of the workshops, etc.), (iii) whether they create an action plan with parents and teachers, (iv) whether they coordinate or seek help from the Ministry of Education, (v) parental involvement measures, and (vi) students' survey measures administered in parallel with the national exams. Most of our secondary outcomes aim to measure possible mechanism to explain the primary results.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
This project coincides with efforts by the Dominican Ministry of Education to increase principal-school leadership team-teacher-parent coordination and improve student performance in two national examinations for third and sixth graders: Evaluaciones Diagnósticas de 3o (April 2020) y 6to (May 2021). The Ministry of Education launched an information campaign on school quality based on emails sent to all school principals in the country, including those not in our sample, with instructions to download their school’s "report card" based on previous performance in the national examinations. As part of this campaign, principals are required to coordinate with their leadership team, instructors and parents the elaboration of specific workshops as well as an action plan to improve school quality and the results in the next national exams.
Using a sample of 2,647 schools, we cross-randomize principals into eight treatment arms, in which we vary the intensity and content of a follow-up information campaign that seeks to motivate the adherence of the principal to the Ministry’s specific instructions. All follow-ups are done by phone calls to the principals.
In treatment arm one, we remind principals about the school report card, verify whether they received the Ministry of Education email, and ensure they know the requisites of the information campaign.
In treatment arm two, we remind school principals about the importance of their leadership for good school performance in the national examinations, the need to analyze the report card, and coordinate with them workshops with teachers and parents.
In treatment arm three, we remind school principals about coordinating with their teachers about the workshop to analyze the school’s report card and the action plan needed to improve performance in the next national examinations.
In treatment arm four, we remind school principals about coordinating with the schools' parents about the workshop to analyze the school’s report card and the action plan needed to improve performance in the next national examinations.
In treatment arm five, we call school principals only once.
In treatment arm six, we call school principals twice.
In treatment arm seven, we call school principals thrice.
In treatment arm eight, we call school principals four times.
Experimental Design Details
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Group 1: Email (control): 827
Group 2: Email + verification call: 166
Group 3: Email + school leadership reminder call: 166
Group 4: Email + teachers reminder call: 166
Group 5: Email + parents reminder call: 166
Group 6: Email + verification call + school leadership reminder call: 166
Group 7: Email + verification call + teachers reminder call: 166
Group 8: Email + verification call + parents reminder call: 166
Group 9: Email + verification call + school leadership reminder call + teacher reminder call: 165
Group 10: Email + verification call + school leadership reminder + parents reminder call: 165
Group 11: Email + verification call + teachers reminder call + parents reminder call: 165
Group 12: Email + verification call + school leadership reminder call + teachers reminder call + parents reminder call: 165
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
Instituto Dominicano de Evaluación e Investigación de la Calidad Educativa
IRB Approval Date